Created by the Canadian commander Lt-General Guy Simonds as an expedient way of reducing losses in his infantry and to be able to maneouvre along with the tanks, the Ram Kangaroo served the forces of the British commonwealth well henceforth. The conception of the Ram Kangaroo is one of the key reasons for dedicated APCs being introduced by most armies after the war’s end.
The first Kangaroos were converted from M7 Priest self-propelled guns of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.These were no longer required, as these regiments were to be re-equipped with towed 25 pounder guns in late July. The Prests were stripped of their guns and the gun aperture welded over at a field workshop codenamed ‘Kangaroo’, (thus the name!). Each Ram Kangaroo could carry 12 troops and were first used in August 1944 during Operation Totalise near Caen.
Followed the operation, the Priests were subsequently returned to their previous owners and other vehicles used. The majority of vehicles converted were Canadian Ram tanks (based on the M3 Sherman) or other Priests (which were sometimes referred to as “defrocked” Priests). The name Kangaroo was applied to any similar conversion. They were used in Canadian attacks on the various Channel ports in late 1944, operated by the 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron and the 49th Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment under the 79th British Armoured Division (Hobart’s Funnies).
Kangaroos were then used throughout the remainder of the campaign in northwest Europe.
The Kangaroo was an ideal solution to a sizeable tactical problem – troop carriers were needed that were able to keep up with tank formations with similar mobility and protection. This was partocularly pertinent for the British and Canadians who both struggled to replace losses. The simple idea to mount the troops in de-turreted tanks was an obvious solution…
The Warlord Games Ram Kangaroo is a resin and metal kit and comes supplied with a sprue of 5 plastic multi-pose British (or Canadian!) infantry and a sprue of weapons. This allows you to model the brave lads riding in their transport, or simply build them as an extra bunch of Tommies for your army!
As you can see from the miniatures converted below it’s a simple case of clipping the legs off the models! Our own Mark Owen came up with the novel idea of gluing them to a single 25mm round base which can be lifted out once your troops have dismounted to be replaced by your regular miniatures and vice versa when they clamber back into their armoured steed.